The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced revisions to the handling requirements under the federal marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida. The Florida Tomato Committee recommended this action to eliminate the standard weight certification requirement from the marketing order regulations. Other marketing order standards for grade, size, maturity, pack and container remain unchanged.
The committee believes there is no longer enough benefit to require tomato handling operations to expend the cost and time required for standard weight certification of containers used for transporting tomatoes. In making its recommendation, the committee stated that providing the necessary labor to properly administer the certification program is expensive and time-consuming, and that tomato handlers outside the regulated area are not required to maintain the same standard weight certification.
The final rule for this action was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 4, 2019. The proposed rule for this action was published on April 16, 2019, and provided a 30-day public comment period.